A resurgent Cavalryman met the specialist demands of the Sussex Downs better than his opponents as he led home Ahzeemah in an Artemis Goodwood Cup one-two for trainer Saeed bin Suroor.
The same could not be said for The Queen's 2/1 favourite Estimate, who has finished first and second in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot but was a bitterly disappointing last.
Her chances of heading to Australia for an historic Melbourne Cup challenge now look remote.
Bin Suroor has a real knack with stayers and helping Cavalryman retain, and even improve, his form at the age of eight must count as one of the Emirati's finest achievements.
The 5/1 chance lasted home a neck in front of his stablemate and supplement this Group Two to his earlier victory in the Princess of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket.
The first and second could travel to Australia via York, while last year's winner Brown Panther attempted to defend his crown on quicker ground than ideal but could manage no better than third.
Cavalryman became the oldest horse since the popular Persian Punch to win this race 11 years earlier, while his jockey Kieren Fallon would also count as one of the sport's thriving veterans.
"He's a tough horse," said Fallon.
"It's a very difficult race to win but he's gone from strength to strength."
Bin Suroor said: "He's a good fighter, he goes on any ground and he has improved with age.
"He's a stayer and a mile and three-quarters and two miles are the best trip for him.
"He showed some turn of foot and now we take him to York for the two-mile race, the Lonsdale, and at the end of the season I will talk to Sheikh Mohammed, but it could be the Melbourne Cup.
"Ahzeemah, also, he could be a horse for the Melbourne Cup, too."
Tom Dascombe said Brown Panther "ran a bit free and never really settled" and may head to the Irish St Leger.
Estimate had been in touch but was eventually eased home and John Warren, The Queen's racing and bloodstock advisor, said: "Ryan (Moore) said she was never happy, right from the moment he jumped off.
"I think it's like the time she ran here before in the Lillie Langtry, she just didn't handle the track.
"We wondered if she was in season, Michael (Stoute) didn't think so, so we'll settle on the track.
"It's complicated now. We hoped if she did well today we'd be brave enough to go for the Irish St Leger, to stop off and see if she had enough to go for the Melbourne Cup.
"That was on the back-burner as an idea but as she doesn't handle soft ground, there are so few options for her.
"I think we're back to the drawing board now. But I think after today (Melbourne) is probably out of the window."
Sky Bet make Cavalryman a 20/1 shot for the Melbourne Cup and the firm's Michael Shinners said: "The Melbourne Cup looks an obvious target for a horse that can quicken and loves fast ground."